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Galleria mellonella (greater wax moth) larvae as a model for antibiotic susceptibility testing and acute toxicity trials

Katarzyna Ignasiak, Anthony Maxwell
BMC Research Notes 2017 August 29, 10 (1): 428
28851426

BACKGROUND: Infectivity trials and toxicity testing in rodents are important prerequisites to the use of compounds in man. However, trials in rats and mice are expensive and there are ethical considerations. Galleria mellonella (greater wax moth) larvae are a potential alternative. We have assessed the use of these insects in infectivity trials and toxicity testing.

FINDINGS: Using four bacterial species (two Gram-negative and two Gram-positive) we have assessed the efficacy of four antibiotics against infections in Galleria and compared the antibiotic susceptibility with that in humans. In general, we find a good correlation. Similarly, we have assessed 11 compounds (initially tested blind) for their toxicity in Galleria and compared this with toxicity trials in mice and rats. Again we found a good correlation between toxicity in Galleria and that in rodents.

CONCLUSION: We have found, in our hands, that G. mellonella larvae can be used in infectivity trials and toxicity testing, and that these assays represent an inexpensive and readily executable alternative to testing in rodents.

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